Primary care - public understanding and perceptions survey: analysis report

Findings from a survey run by the Scottish Government and The Scottish Centre for Social Research to understand public perceptions of primary care in Scotland.

3. Method

Following internal ethical approval, the Scottish Government commissioned The Scottish Centre for Social Research (ScotCen) to undertake the fieldwork and early stages of analysis for this standalone survey. Fieldwork took place between 4th February and 7th March 2022. It is worth noting that fieldwork was carried out after a national letterbox campaign on knowing who to go to in primary care was run and before the national media campaign "right care, right place"[4] on the role of receptionists in coordination of care. The questionnaire was developed jointly by the Scottish Government and ScotCen and is outlined in Annex 1. This report highlights key findings and does not present data from every question in the survey. Full results may be provided upon request.

A nationally representative sample of 1,136 people aged 18 and over living in Scotland took part in the survey. Participants were recruited using an existing survey panel created and maintained by ScotCen. In order to achieve the target number of 1,000 responses, invitations to participate were issued to 2,300 members of the panel. All participants were initially invited to self-complete the survey online, with the survey taking approximately 15 minutes to complete. During the course of the fieldwork, multiple attempts were made to reach panellists by post, email, text and phone to encourage participation. After two weeks, those who had not completed the survey were contacted by telephone to encourage/support an online completion or conduct an interview over the phone. 10% of interviews were conducted over the phone, and this option was offered to facilitate the inclusion of potentially under-represented groups and people who do not have access to the internet. A £5 incentive was offered to all participants.

Demographic information about the panel members (such as age, sex, and income) is collated, stored and updated by ScotCen. This was shared with the Scottish Government in an anonymised format on the basis of informed consent. Additionally, self-assessed health status and caring status were collected for the purposes of this survey. A summary of demographic variables is provided in Annex 2. This list includes the Scottish Index of Multiple Deprivation (SIMD)[5] which factors a number of variables such as income, housing, employment, and education into a single geographical measure of relative deprivation.

ScotCen presented raw data (survey results and demographic information) and summary data tables (with significance testing between demographic groups) in Excel spread sheets and a summary of key findings in PowerPoint presentation format to the Scottish Government in April 2022. Government officials then conducted the analysis, interpretation and write up of the data. All reported differences are statistically significant at the level of 5%. More detailed information on the methodology can be found in Annex 2.

This study makes a number of references and comparisons to the Health and Care Experience Survey (HACE)[6]. HACE covers similar themes, asking people about their experiences of general practice in addition to caring responsibilities and services. HACE has been run every two years since 2009 and most recent data was collected earlier than this survey (November 2021-January 2022) and was published in May 2022. HACE differs from the survey presented in this report in a number of ways, which are also outlined in Annex 2.



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